Baikal is one of the oldest lakes in the world and the deepest lake in the world. Baikal is one of the ten largest lakes in the world. Its average depth is about 730 meters, maximum – 1637 meters. In 1996 Lake Baikal was inscribed on the world heritage list of UNESCO.
Baikal has more water than all five Great lakes combined and it has 25 times more water than lake Ladoga, for example. It contains about 19% of the world’s fresh water, it is a home to 2,630 species and varieties of plants and animals, 2/3 of which are endemic, that is, they live only in Baikal. Baikal water reserves would be enough for 40 years for the inhabitants of the whole Earth, and 46 x 1015 people could quench their thirst at the same time. Scientists believe that the age of the lake is 25-35 million years, for this reason it is the oldest lake in the world. The territory of Baikal is so large that it could fit inside such countries as Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands. Some parts of Lake Baikal hold the record of Russia in the number of hours of sunshine – 2524.
No wonder Baikal is called the ”pearl” of Siberia. It is amazing with its beauty and it is unique with its flora and fauna. This is the deepest freshwater lake and one of the oldest lakes in the world!
The exact age of the lake is still unknown. Traditionally, the age of the lake is determined in 25-35 million years. This fact is surprising because most lakes of the ice age live on average 10-15 thousand years, and then get sick.
The fact that lake Baikal contains about 19% of world reserves of fresh water is also surprising. The water in the lake is so clear that stones in the bottom can be seen even at a depth of 40 m! The water almost doesn`t contain salts, so it can be used instead of distilled water.
The flora and fauna of Baikal has a lot of rare species of plants and animals. There are 800 species of endemic inhabitants! This is due to the large amount of oxygen in the water. The most interesting endemics of Baikal are viviparous fish golomyanka, crustacean epishura, Baikal seal, Baikal omul.
The golomyanka is a viviparous small translucent fish, which 44% consists of fat. They are the main food of Baikal seals.
Baikal ringed seal is one of the three freshwater species of seals that can be found only on Baikal! These incredibly cute creatures live in a large cluster on the Ushkany Islands.
Unique epishura crustaceans that purify the lake water also play an important role in the food chain of Baikal. Without them Baikal omul could not have existed.
Baikal omul is a favorite delicacy of both locals and guests from other cities and countries. Most often people eat it salted or smoked.
Baikal is beautiful and amazing both in summer and in winter. Until now, scientists have not solved the mysteries of the huge ice hills and tents formed of the Baikal ice.
Baikal has been a sacred lake for locals for centuries. There are thousands of songs, poems, fairytales and legends about it. Baikal is full of secrets and mysteries. The lake has its own energy and power. It is not just a lake. This is the Holy Sea.